Irishman will leave the UK after 20 years if he has to re-apply after Brexit
An Irish man who has lived and worked in the UK for more than half his life has said he will leave if he is forced to apply for new residency paperwork after Brexit.
Feargal Dalton, originally from Dublin, joined the Royal Navy in 1993, and has lived in the UK ever since with his wife and three children.
He has been a member of the Glasgow city council and Scottish National Party. Recently he was advised by his employers to attend a workshop where immigration lawyers speak with EU residents who may find themselves seeking new status after Brexit.
Mr Dalton said: “While the UK was never the most enthusiastic member of the EU, I never thought this would come to pass. Not only that they would leave the EU but that they would leave everything.
“I was invited by my employers to attend a workshop one afternoon that was being hosted for myself and other EU citizens to meet with lawyers and assess our situation.”
As well as his role as a city councillor, Mr Dalton also teaches Physics part-time, and he pointed out that the education sector depends greatly on EU workers, as does the health service.
Although negotiations are ongoing between the British government and the European Union, it is anticipated that EU citizens currently living in the UK will have to apply for an inclusion on a “settled status” registry if they wish to remain after Brexit.
Mr Dalton insists he will not be participating in any such process.
“I’ll not be filling in any paperwork for the Home Office. If it comes to it I’ll leave,” he said.
“I walked around Glasgow the other day and it’s always been very welcoming and is my home. It’s not Glasgow that’s not making me feel no longer at home but I am unwelcome.
“After 17 years in the armed forces… I’m not feeling the love. I have options and qualifications. I moved here out of choice unlike a lot of Irish people in the past. But I’m feeling less and less welcome as time goes by.”
Mr Dalton said he may re-locate back to Ireland or possibly France if he does leave Scotland.